8/15/2010 11:00:00 PM
The Giants and Padres conclude their three game series on Sunday with the Padres on top of the NL West despite a low payroll and the second-place Giants leading the wild card race.
The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants, the top two teams in the NL West, conclude a three-game series Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park. The Padres remain atop the division despite having one of baseball's lowest salaries, while the Giants are in line for a wild-card berth if the season ended today.
San Diego southpaw Wade LeBlanc (6-10, 3.51 ERA) gets the nod in Sunday's finale. He notched just his second win since June 18 after knocking off Pittsburgh on Tuesday as a 199 home 'chalk,' 4-1. The former Alabama Crimson Tide pitcher went 5 2/3 innings, yielding the lone run on five hits with two walks. He tied a career high with eight strikeouts on 106 pitches.
The combined five runs failed to topple the seven-run closing total, helping the 'under' improve to 5-2 his previous seven starts. The 26-year-old was mired in a personal two-game losing streak before upending the Pirates.
The Padres are 3-0 when LeBlanc pitches against the Giants. His lone effort against San Francisco this season (May 11) saw the Padres register a 3-2 victory as 134 road underdogs. The three-year veteran lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts on 94 pitches. The combined five runs dipped 'under' the 7 1/2-run closing total.
The Padres, 31-24 away from home, continue their 10-game road trip after this contest with games against Chicago and Milwaukee. San Diego, 8-1 the previous nine meetings with the Giants, sports an impressive 11-1 record its last 12 Sunday games.
San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum (11-6, 3.41 ERA) enters this contest having dropped his past two decisions. The hard-throwing right-hander fell to Chicago Monday as a 198 home favorite, 8-6. He suffered through the worst first inning of his career by allowing four runs. The Washington native lasted just four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits (one home run) with a walk and four strikeouts spanning 89 pitches.
The combined 14 runs eclipsed the 6 1/2-run closing total. The 'over/under' has alternated during his previous seven starts. His previous three starts have involved pitch counts of 114, 123 and 104 before facing the Cubs.
Lincecum has not pitched against the Padres this season, but he did face them three times last season with the Giants going 1-2. The two-time Cy Young Award winner went a combined 19 innings, surrendering eight runs on 17 hits (one home run) with eight walks and 23 strikeouts.
San Francisco won as a 245 home 'chalk,' 9-3, while losing as a 134 road favorite, 3-2, and as a 115 road 'chalk,' 6-1. The 'over' is 3-1 in his previous four starts against San Diego.
The Giants, 36-21 at AT&T Park, conclude a seven-game homestand with this contest before embarking on a tough six-game road trip against Philadelphia and St. Louis. San Francisco is 6-2 its last eight home games, and 25-11 the past 36 outings overall. The Giants have gone 7-2 in Lincecum's previous nine starts versus the Padres.
Sunday's weather forecast in San Francisco calls for partly cloudy skies with a 10 percent chance of rain. The projected high is 59 degrees, with a low of 53.